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Lost Ski on Smolikas

Socratis Bounovas and Dimitris Pantelias, hiking through the beech forest on Mount Smolikas, in Northwest Greece.

It started out as an easy day. When the phone rang at eight o’clock in the morning, with our friend Jimmy (Dimitris) Papanik on the other end, we were still in the hotel room packing our gear. Jimmy lives in the city of Grevena, about an hour and a half away. He was already on the mountain. Embarrassed, we finished packing up, ate breakfast, and headed up the mountain.

Our original plan was to go to Olympos, to sleep a night at the refuge on the south side and to ski some easy warmup runs. However, after a rapid fire sequence of accidents on Olympos, including the death of a beloved member of the Greek mountaineering community, we decided to change the plan. Going back to Athens wasn’t an option. Six months of boiling summer heat had driven us to madness. Smolikas, the second highest summit in Greece, was an extra 2 hours of driving, but the best chance to get our fix.

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Dirfys, Evia

Ski Touring Dirfys in Evia, Greece.

Dirfys in Evia, the holy mountain of the goddess Hera, is located on the island of Evia, and is just 60km from the Athens. A quick hour and a half drive makes Dirfys a perfect day trip. But don’t be fooled, this mountain is serious. It’s a well known fact among Greek mountaineers that Dirfys is one of the most dangerous mountains in the country. Like the goddess herself, Dirfys is known for its striking beauty, but also for its vindictive temper to those who disrespect it.

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